Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry merry merry times!

From my family to yours, here's wishing you a very safe, warm and happy holiday season! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh no, tree down!

A couple weeks ago the girls and I strung popcorn garland and hung it on the tree. While we were working on our garlands the girls said that they bet our Elf Arnie would like some popcorn. I agreed. 

Our garland sure did look pretty on our tree! We only managed to make three strands because stringing popcorn is hard work! But those three strands were quite pretty! 

WELL. An interesting thing happened!

We came downstairs the next morning after making our garland, and our tree HAD FALLEN OVER! WHAT?! It was the craziest thing! I couldn't believe it. I stood in the room, dumbfounded. How in the world?! What in the heck?! 

We're not really sure how it happened. But here's the facts - we found Elf Arnie under the tree rubble with his feet sticking out of a bag of popcorn. He must have been under the tree? Or did he climb into the tree and knock it down? Who knows! No one will ever know!

{In reality, what most likely happened is that the tree fell over because all of the bulbs were on one side, and, the tree wasn't secured super tight into the base! Thankfully only one bulb got broken in the fall! It fell over in the middle of the night and we didn't hear it crash down, surprisingly. And I'm betting the Elf was under the tree in his bag of popcorn before the tree fell over. That's just my hunch.}

What was so funny about the whole thing is that the girls truly believed that Arnie had something to do with the tree falling over. I love how kids believe. It's what makes this time of year so magical! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The "Five Wishes" program from Santa

My nine year old girls are at an interesting age this year for Christmas. They just had a birthday in October and got LOTS of gifts, so they weren't acting like they really wanted anything. In year's past there had been one or two gifts that they really wanted but this year I was struggling with what to get them. I think they're between the ages where they want toys and more grown-up type of stuff? 

Well, Santa needed some ideas, so I created a "Five Wishes" program for them! I had seen a similar idea on Pinterest and modified it. Santa asked them for five gift ideas: something they wanted, something they needed, something to read, something to wear and something to create. 

We do the Elf on the Shelf business, and when our Elf Arnie arrived for the first time this year, he brought with him a very important letter from Santa. Check it out! (Click on the image to make it larger.)

{Isn't that signature awesome?! ~ I got it here.}

Here's the form Santa created for them to fill out: {click DOWNLOAD in the upper right if you wish to download the form!}

They thought it was pretty cool that their elf delivered the letter, and I swear they believed in the program. You see, I can't really tell if they still believe or if they are acting like they believe about everything Santa related, but I want to think that they do believe. 

Their wish lists just cracked me up, they are so cute. My dear Lydia asked for peace and joy, of course she did. She is a sweet soul.

And yes, Arlene asked for a fake diamond ring. That girl loves her sparkles. 

Cute, right?! It was fun and it's probably something I'll recreate next year, too.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I'm an over-ambitious quilter

Hello, my name is Wendy and I'm here to admit that I'm an over-ambitious quilter. I bite off more than I can chew. Case in point: I've completed a couple small quilts, a few wall quilts and a baby quilt. I'm not one to ease into it, so I decided, it's time to make a KING SIZE quilt! Yay! So I set about making a king size quilt. Maybe I'll finish it when I'm 60?!

I saw this wonky star design on Pinterest and decided it was for me: 

The tutorial is from the Blueberry Patch. She made her quilt with scraps. I decided to make mine with solids.

I took the project to a sewing retreat and made a bit of headway. I sat for SIX HOURS and cut a zillion and a half 4 inch squares. Then I had to cut the solid colors in half to make a bazillion and three triangles. It took forever.

My arm was sore from cutting, but after six hours, they were finished!

Then I got to sew! The construction of wonky stars is pretty simple and you can't mess it up, which is what I like about it. Each star has five, four inch squares: a solid center, and then each white square has two colored wonky star points.


More progress! I love how the white makes a pinwheel design.

After my sewing retreat I brought all of my blocks home and laid them out on the floor. It really doesn't look like much but that's what six hours of cutting and 10 hours of sewing got me. I'm probably 30 percent finished with the quilt?! Ahhh, only 30 percent!! Lots more work to do!

I can't begin to piece together the blocks until each of the square blocks are complete because they get sewn together in long strips. I plan to make the quilt 120 inches by 120 inches so it can cover my king size bed and have lots of drape. 

And then! As if that's not enough! I participated in a mini quilt swap, and I decided it would be a fab idea to HAND SEW my mini quilt! Haaa! {I'm nuts, I know!!}

First I cut out almost 300 60-degree triangles out of cardstock. 

Then I cut out my fabric into 60-degree triangles. I sketched out my pattern too.

I do really like English Paper Piecing because I can stitch while my kids are playing or while watching TV. 

Annnnnd I missed my swap deadline! The mini quilts were supposed to be mailed out last Friday and I was no where near being done. For some reason when I decided to do a hand-sewn mini quilt I must have forgotten that I had one of my biggest work events to plan at the same time?! I hardly had any time to sew. 

So, sew, sew, sew NOW! My goal is to finish this project in the next couple of weeks so then I can begin some Christmas sewing projects! I may have to put away my king size quilt blocks and work on them after the new year!